Before many people even consider hearing treatment, they are well aware of the financial commitment they require. Unfortunately, this can sometimes seem daunting; it may even deter you from wanting to get your hearing checked at all.
I want to take a minute to address some of the most common questions we get asked about hearing aids here at Preferred Hearing Centers.
One of my greatest concerns is that someone who has a hearing loss does not seek treatment precisely because of the many negative misconceptions associated with hearing aids.
At Preferred Hearing Centers, we will always work hard to create a treatment plan that considers your financial concerns, and we want you to know that both your health and overall quality of life are of the utmost importance to us.
A common question we get asked is, “What makes hearing aids cost so much?”
Well, there’s a short answer and a long answer.
The short answer is that the prevalence and growing awareness of hearing loss comes with more advanced research! Hearing aids have come a long way in a short amount of time, and as with any other device, better technology usually comes with a higher price tag.
But this is where the investment comes in – hearing aids are only a tiny part of what you pay when you partner with a professional. Allow me to explain myself.
Ongoing Support & Care
When you visit a hearing care professional for a diagnosis that results in the treatment of prescribed hearing aids, you are beginning a partnership that will last a lifetime.
I currently get asked why people should invest in hearing aids from Preferred Hearing Centers rather than purchase cheaper devices online or over-the-counter.
Well, there is a HUGE difference in the outcome of your success with either of these devices.
On the one hand, you could self-diagnose your hearing loss with a quick online hearing test that doesn’t consider all things and is therefore deemed inaccurate, leading you to purchase a one-size-fits-all device from the likes of Costco or Listen Lively.
Not only that, but an online hearing test can not diagnose any serious underlying conditions you may have that are causing your hearing loss, so by inaccurately self-diagnosing your hearing loss, you could be masking a serious issue – which is an extremely dangerous and careless decision in our eyes.
For hearing aids to work and be effective in treating hearing loss, they must be adjusted to suit your unique hearing needs. Unfortunately, when you purchase online or OTC devices, you do not receive professional adjustments or support with your device after your purchase.
These devices may be cheaper, but as we’ve already discovered in our office recently, they end up costing you more both financially and physically in the long run.
In addition, we have seen people come in with devices they purchased elsewhere that they are not happy with, and now they need a professional to help. This could have all been avoided if they had seen a professional, to begin with.
Prescribed Hearing Aids
When you seek hearing health from a professional, you receive and accurate diagnosis and a tailored hearing solution for you. In addition, we can make as many adjustments on as many different occasions to your devices to ensure they perform exactly how they should.
If your hearing aid breaks or requires cleaning and maintenance, the initial cost you pay for your devices from a hearing care professional usually covers these services.
So when we come back to the argument between cost and investment, you can see how prescribed hearing aids genuinely are an investment through the ongoing support and care you receive from your hearing care professional vs. the online/OTC hearing aids that leave you out of pocket with nowhere to turn for help.
Further to the service you receive through ongoing professional care, the advancements in technology also contribute to the overall investment.
Researchers and manufacturing companies have made great strides in creating hearing aids that genuinely cater to the needs of those who have hearing loss. Here are just a few of the new technologies that have been developed.
One of the number one complaints about hearing aids is that they are too large and bulky. While hearing aids are helpful, they are rarely a fashion statement.
To address this problem, smaller, more discrete devices have been developed to the point where they are nearly invisible. For example, we now have in-the-canal hearing aids that, you guessed it, are designed to fit inside the ear canal and cannot be seen unless you get close.
Even the more familiar over-the-ear models have become incredibly small and difficult to see.
An awesome new feature in a lot of hearing aids is Bluetooth. Bluetooth allows hearing aids to act as in-ear headphones and connect to devices, such as laptops, tablets, and cell phones, for easy listening.
This way, hearing aid users don’t need to struggle with trying to find headphones that work with their hearing aids or turn up the volume on their headphones too high.
Older models of hearing aids often made background noise louder than desired, making it more difficult to hear the things hearing aid wearers want to hear. The newer models do a much better job lowering the volume of background noise.
Another concern hearing aid users often have is having to adjust them in public. Going hand-in-hand with the first concern of devices being too large and standing out, having to adjust your device in public sometimes also makes users feel like it’s standing out.
Today, many manufacturing companies have developed apps to go along with their hearing aids, allowing users to adjust them from their smartphones. This allows those with hearing loss to be even more discreet with their hearing aids.
Common Hearing Aid Misconceptions
Something I’d like to address that isn’t necessarily outright asked, but I know a lot of patients may find it to be a concern –”Do audiologists intentionally suggest more expensive hearing aids?”
At Preferred Hearing Centers, we pride ourselves on putting our patients first and taking the time to understand their concerns and needs. As I said earlier, we work hard to create treatment plans that best suit every aspect of our patient’s lives, including recommending hearing aids that will work best for them.
We are not directly affiliated with any hearing aid company or manufacturer and, therefore, do not benefit from recommending one kind of hearing aid over the other.
And finally, “Will insurance cover the cost?” is something we get asked a lot, and well, it depends. For example, some insurance companies will cover the cost of a hearing test and hearing aids, while some will only cover the testing.
That is something that you will have to discuss with your insurance company. But again, at Preferred Hearing Centers, we never want the price of hearing aid to be the reason why someone who has a hearing loss doesn’t get treatment.
What Are The Next Steps?
So, if you are someone who thinks they may be struggling with a hearing loss, please make an appointment with us, so we can provide you with the proper care you need.
The first step to determining whether you are a good candidate for hearing is with a comprehensive hearing assessment by a hearing care professional. If you are a good candidate, then we can help you find a tailored solution that is well worth the investment.
We look forward to meeting you soon.